An all-women’s library was forced to close down Monday due to Taliban restrictions on women and economic problems. The library had only been open for six months in an effort to promote a culture of book-reading and raise awareness among women living under Taliban rule in Kabul.
Zholia Parsi, a founder of the Woman Library, told KabulNow that the Taliban’s restrictions on women had severely limited the library’s operations and resulted in its closure at least twice over the past six months.
“We emptied the bookshelves, locked the library’s door, and took the books to our home,” she said. The library she said, had been under Taliban supervision over the past month, she added.
In August 2022, a group of women from Afghanistan came together and opened the library in the Pul-e-Surkh neighbourhood of Kabul.
“This wasn’t just a library for women in Kabul. At a time when women are confined to their homes, women came together from different parts of the city to read books, chat, and discuss their struggles,” Zholia Parsi said.
Since returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban has banned women and girls from most activities, including high schools, universities and work.